Linda Barnard

Linda Barnard

Travel, film and food writer; National Newspaper Award winner.
TMAC, SATW, NATJA, Toronto Film Critics Association.


Aboard World’s First Hybrid Cruise ship, MS Roald Amundsen

Calling it “a new chapter in maritime history,” Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam led two days of celebrations marking the Vancouver inaugural of the world’s first hybrid cruise ship, MS Roald Amundsen. The timing could not have been better for the Norwegian expedition cruise line’s event for its newest vessel.
TravelPulse Canada Link to Story

A Toast to ‘Sideways’ Anniversary in California Wine Country

There are superstar wines. And then there’s Highliner Pinot Noir, a vino that’s both movie star and kick-starter of a film-born wine revolution. The Hartley–Ostini Hitching Post wine was loved — perhaps a bit too much — by angsty wine snob Miles (Paul Giamatti) in director Alexander Payne’s 2004 California-set dramedy Sideways.
Vacaynetwork Link to Story

How to pack your fat cat as carry-on luggage

I’m an occasional catastrophizer. Facing a cross-Canada first flight with our plus-size feline, Lance, gave the word a literal interpretation. Planning for the trip involved slightly less than a Sahara trek. My mind pinballed around all the things I couldn’t control, such as the possibility that a 10.5-kilogram, 10-year-old tabby (down from nearly 12 kg; don’t judge) would produce a great, noxious poop at 30,000 feet.
The Globe and Mail Link to Story

Vancouver Island's Westholme Tea Farm: Canadian Tea

Life, philosophy and the art of sipping in the Cowichan Valley. There’s nowhere else in Canada that this path exists,” says tea grower Victor Vesely as we walk the path between short, terraced rows of squat bushes covered in leathery, serrated-edge leaves. But this view is undeniably special, overlooking a row of robust tea bushes planted in 2010 in Vancouver Island’s bounteous Cowichan Valley.
YAM Magazine Link to Story

At Disneyland, Star Wars Comes to Life with Galaxy’s Edge Theme Park

If your first exposure to Star Wars was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Disneyland’s newly launched land Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge provides an immersive hyperspace jump into your past with a land filled with nostalgic fantasy. The Black Spire Outpost on the planet of Batuu, which opened in Anaheim on May 31, is an Outer Rim den of thieves, home to smugglers, shady traders, and anybody desiring to fly under First Order radar. Link to Story

Oualid Mouaness tells story of boyhood crush, a nation at war in '1982'

It took eight years for Lebanese-American writer and director Oualid Mouaness to get 1982 on to the screen. The film, which stars Lebanese actress and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Nadine Labaki, revolves around a boy who is anxious about winning over a school crush. The movie will have its world premiere on Wednesday, September 11 at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The National Abu Dhabi Link to Story

Renée Zellweger on looking past tragedy to find joy in 'Judy'

Renée Zellweger credits a “series of shared experiments” with helping her craft her dazzling and often heartbreaking portrayal of singer and Hollywood legend Judy Garland in Judy, having its Canadian premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival Tuesday. “It didn’t go very far, I can tell you that,” says Zellweger of trying to shift a heavy piano around a rehearsal studio.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

Meryl Streep serenades the crowd at TIFF Tribute Gala

Meryl Streep serenaded the room with a Joni Mitchell tribute, sweetly warbling “Oh Can-a-daa,” as she accepted an acting award Monday night at the inaugural TIFF Tribute Gala at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

Tunisian star Hend Sabri on Noura's Dream, pushing boundaries

Tunisian actress Hend Sabri has pushed the boundaries again with her return to Tunisian cinema in the drama Noura’s Dream, which last week had its world premiere in the discovery section of the 44th Toronto International Film Festival. Sabri plays a woman trying to navigate relationships on her own terms and find long-overdue happiness while her abusive, small-time criminal husband, Sofiane (Lotfi Abdelli), is in jail.
The National Abu Dhabi Link to Story

This Movie Goes to 35: Metal Rockumentary ‘This is Spinal Tap’ Marks Anniversary with Theatrical Release

The first time Brad LaDouceur saw This Is Spinal Tap, it was on a tiny screen with lousy sound at the now-closed Cineplex Odeon Theatres at the Eaton Centre in Toronto. The Humber College radio broadcast student, all of 17, thought Rob Reiner’s 1984 mock rockumentary about a fictitious trio of hopelessly dumb, heavy metal musicians who couldn’t keep a drummer was the “funniest movie I’ve ever seen.”
Zoomer Magazine Link to Story

Surface Pattern Designer Jackie Tahara is a Rising Star

Since prehistoric times, humans have derived meaning from patterns, seeking them out, creating them and curating them. Jackie Tahara, a rising star in the world of surface pattern design, makes them beautiful. Victoria surface pattern designer Jackie Tahara may change the way you see the world. Look around.
YAM Magazine Link to Story

A gefilte fish out of water

Howard “Buzzy” Busgang says he’s living a “gefilte fish out of water” tale by opening a Montreal-style deli on Salt Spring Island, B.C., a place he claims has “more bears than Jews.” But there’s an unexpected punchline to this Montreal-born standup comic and TV writer-producer’s gags.
Canadian Jewish News Link to Story


Linda Barnard

Former Toronto Star staff movie writer, now a freelance travel writer whose work has appeared in the Toronto Star, Fodor's, DINE Magazine,, American Way in-flight magazine, TravelPulse Canada, Canadian Traveller, Montecristo Magazine, Ensemble Vacations, TraveLife and others. Regular contributor YAM Magazine (Victoria). Food writer for Edible Toronto, Edible Vancouver Island and Edible Seattle and film writer for the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Movie Entertainment Magazine and others.
Winner Best International Travel Story, SATW Canadian Chapter. Winner and honourable mention, NATJA Awards. National Newspaper Awards winner (Arts & Entertainment).
My custom content clients include Telefilm Canada, Western University, The Globe and Mail and Star Metro Media.